A motion has been filed in federal court by civil rights lawyers at the Brennan Center for Justice on the New York University campus challenging the New York Police spying of Muslim Americans.
The motion revives a class action suit filed in 1971 that led to a set of guidelines regulating the Department’s collection of information about political activity.
The Brennan Center argues the current surveilance program violates the so called Handschu guidelines.
“The Police Commissioner has defended the NYPD’s covert operations in American Muslim neighborhoods on the basis that they complied with the Handschu guidelines,” said Faiza Patel, Co-Director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. “Today’s filing shows that in fact the NYPD has systematically violated the Guidelines. This pattern of violations was facilitated by a chronic lack of oversight, which the City Council should remedy by establishing an independent monitor that ensures the Department’s policies and actions are lawful, effective, and consistent with the civil liberties of all Americans.”
The current case alleges that police informants and undercover officers have infiltrated mosques, schools, restaurants, and grocery stores to spy on Muslims.